Cervical mucus may not exactly have the most appealing name, but if you’re trying to conceive, you want healthy cervical mucus and plenty of it.
Cervical mucus is not the same as the liquids your body releases when aroused. Therefore, you can’t gauge the quality of your cervical mucus by how “wet” you get during sexual activity. The characteristics of your cervical mucus are actually closely tied to your menstrual cycle; when your body is not preparing to ovulate, it thickens and limits sperm health and motility (movement and speed); but in the days leading up to and including ovulation, fertile cervical mucus actually nourishes the sperm, protects them from the acidity of the vagina, and helps the sperm move towards the egg.
Fertile cervical mucus is sometimes called “egg white cervical mucus” because it often looks a lot like raw egg white, although some women’s fertile cervical mucus is more watery than egg whites. Highly fertile cervical mucus is either thin and watery or “stretchy” – if you get some on your fingers, you can stretch it out considerably before it breaks – and has a clear color (sometimes with a white or yellow tint), a pH level above 7, and sometimes a sweeter scent than cervical mucus produced outside your fertile window.
Many women track their fertile days through a combination of checking their temperature upon waking and regularly checking the consistency and volume of their cervical mucus.
If you find you don’t have a lot of cervical mucus, it is possible that this could prevent you from conceiving. Fortunately, there are ways to increase the amount of fertile cervical mucus naturally, so that you have a better chance of conception with each cycle.
There are some factors which can all reduce the amount of fertile cervical mucus:
not drinking enough water each day
a sedentary lifestyle with poor circulation to your reproductive organs
hormonal imbalances (particularly low progesterone or estrogen)
or, more rarely, cervical fibroids
My top 10 tips for increasing cervical mucus are:
- drink lots of water – aim for 2-3 litres a day
- get moving – a brisk 30 minute walk can improve circulation and increase mucus
- regular self care fertility massage and fertility yoga improves circulation to the reproductive organs
- increase intake of omega essential fatty acids (EFA’s) – food sources include fish, nuts, seeds etc or take an Omega 3 supplement.
- try supplementing with Tribulus, particularly if you have low oestrogen
- limit your intake of acidifying foods such as processed foods, sugar, dairy, meat and refined grains and eat more alkalising vegetables, legumes, fruit and nuts, particularly almonds
- drink grapefruit juice every day a week before ovulation – this can make the mucous thinner and more hospitable to sperm
- Use Pre-Seed lubricant before intercourse – the only lubricant safe to use when trying to get pregnant, it can mimic cervical mucous and help keep sperm alive
- Avoid anti-histamines if you can – their job is to dry up excess mucus in the nose and head, but they can dry up mucus everywhere, including the cervix